Even the world’s largest publisher can use help from the little guys every now and then. This much is clear when Pearson created its own edtech accelerator, Catalyst, to find and support edtech startups that could be potential partners. (Here are the nine startups in the second Catalyst cohort.)
In addition, Pearson’s PowerSchool, one of the most widely used Student Information System (SIS) in K-12 schools, is integrating with a select group of third-party vendors. Through the creation of a partnership program called, Independent Software Vendor Program, PowerSchool has vetted over 100 companies based on school needs, the growth of the company, and the potential fit between the software and PowerSchool.
Schools will have the ability to choose from the list of partners vendors, for services that fall into categories like Data Analytics, Messaging and Notification and Cafeteria Management, for seamless integration between their PowerSchool SIS and the third-party software. Included on the list of partners are LMS’s like Schoology or School Loop and even badging tools like Youtopia, as well as competitors to other Pearson products like Blackboard. “The objective is to meet customer integration needs, often times that means partnering with a company that competes with us on one front,” says Oliver Wreford, Vice President of Product and Marketing for Pearson School Systems.
Pearson representatives say they have no interest in housing third-party data on their platform. “For us, security and data integrity is absolutely paramount,” emphasizes Wreford. Instead, with the new linkage between the SIS and the new tools, schools can give third party applications permission to export certain data elements from PowerSchool into the third-party software.
Pearson plans to continue to grow this list in response to customer demand. For now, the lucky 100 have Pearson’s blessing to link up to PowerSchool.
Pearson’s also making friends with major distributors as well. Also, Ingram Micro, one of the world’s largest resellers of technology services, announced that it will become the “first distributor to partner with Pearson for digital learning solutions” such as e-textbooks.